By Dr. Candace M. Lewis
As a person who prays, I enjoy reading the verse in James 5:16, because it reminds me that the prayers of a righteous person can be powerful and effective. While watching and witnessing human suffering in the news due to earthquakes, tsunamis, wars, and nuclear problems, I see a great need for powerful and effective prayers. When listening to friends share their work, health, financial, relational, and spiritual challenges, I hear the need for powerful and effective prayers.
Maintaining a right relationship with God and others enables us to pray powerful and effective prayers. James 5:16 states that we should “confess our faults one to another and pray one with another that we might be healed.” The Amplified Bible unpacks the word “faults” as our “slips, false steps, offenses and sins.” Consistent confession of our faults and accountability to God and trustworthy people can be considered disciplines of a righteous person. If receiving God’s grace and Christ’s sacrifice grants us righteousness, then these disciplines enable us to experience more of God’s grace in our lives. The less our hearts are cluttered with unconfessed “faults,” the more God’s grace can flow freely through our hearts. God’s grace enables us to pray powerful and effective prayers for the needs of ourselves, our loved ones, and the world around us.
Find a trustworthy person and share any burdens or faults residing in your heart that may be hindering your prayers. Receive God’s forgiveness and grace in your life and pray powerfully and effectively today.
Dr. Candace M. Lewis is Executive Director of Path 1 Ministries of The United Methodist Church.
"Many of us are used to the idea that we might speak to God or to Jesus. Maybe at times it feels like shouting into the darkness or whatnot, but it’s not hard to do—at least as an imaginative exercise. What’s harder—even imaginatively—is to try to hear Jesus speaking to us. Are we just making things up? Are we just using Jesus as a puppet to say whatever we want to hear?" READ MORE